Could this idea slow or stop the sinking?


Andrew Faulk

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Feb 15, 2020
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I like to think outside the box and it occurred to me: what if you got some crew members in a life boat near where the flooding is likely occurring. These crew members would then start dropping any loose items available (clothing, wood, whatever) in the water. The water rushing in to the damaged areas would probably pull some of this stuff into the hull which would seal it up to some extent.

It sounds a little silly, but is there a reason why it couldn't work? Just throw all the loose stuff over the side hoping some of it gets sucked into the gash and seals it. Maybe wood isn't the best example since it floats, but there must be other materials on board that could be dropped near the flooding.
 

Doug Criner

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Dec 2, 2009
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Four things to consider. The estimated rate of flooding. The size and extent of damaged hull openings to the sea. Both were discussed at hearings and on this site. Thirdly, the limited time available and the distraction of organizing such a major effort. Fourth, the very limited amount of "loose stuff" in a lifeboat.
 

Kyle Naber

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Oct 5, 2016
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I think there is a theory that mattresses could be lowered down the side and sucked into any openings in the ship, causing the flooding rate to slow.
 

Tim Aldrich

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Jan 26, 2018
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I like to think outside the box and it occurred to me: what if you got some crew members in a life boat near where the flooding is likely occurring. These crew members would then start dropping any loose items available (clothing, wood, whatever) in the water. The water rushing in to the damaged areas would probably pull some of this stuff into the hull which would seal it up to some extent.
That can work, but it would not have in the case of Titanic. In Edward C. Raymer's memoir "Descent Into Darkness" the author describes many, many things about the salvage of ships at Pearl Harbor. He was a US Navy Diver by the way. He wrote about how the divers dealt with separated hull plates and it was quite interesting. After portholes had been blanked off, patches made etc. multiple pumps would be running constantly trying to removed just enough water to gain buoyancy.

With so many pumps running water would get into the ship via separated hull plates, cracks etc. What they would do is simply tear apart life jackets for the kapok fibers, go along the hull until they felt suction (from the pumps) then would let the kapok get sucked into the cracks.

With Titanic's damage being below the waterline and no divers around the process of letting stuff get sucked into the cracks is a moot point.
 
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